La Grande Grouille ~ The Great Fall Festival
New Brunswick Botanical Garden Goes All Out!
To say the NB Botanical Garden goes all out for La Grande Grouille is the understatement of the year. This event is the garden’s last big one before they close for the season, and they celebrate in a full out party all weekend long in a grand fall finale style!
Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins…
Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins… as far as one could see ~ over 3,000 of them! Imaginative, creative, carved, painted & decorated pumpkins were everywhere! Throughout all the gardens, pumpkins were either cleverly posed on display or led the way adorning the many trails that wound round every corner of this extensive garden oasis.
The scope of the effort by everyone who participated in preparing all the individual gardens for La Grande Grouille had me gobsmacked. This is a very big deal! I have never seen anything like it! Local school children even joined in the fun by entering their own special pumpkins into a competition. The display of their entries is quite impressive. Lots of budding talented artists.
It was a Fantastical Night Followed by An Amazing Day
Fairies & gnomes, witches & wizards, cats & bats, birds & insects, animals & mystical creatures came out for La Grande Grouille. Music filled the air with a rhythmic beat as the band played on, witches brewed a concoction for children & another special one was available for adults, a wizard shared his high-powered telescope to share views of the stars and the moon, skeletons danced in a brilliant neon glowing Day of the Dead tunnel, a pumpkin village of homes led the way to a giant spider’s lair, ghost dresses floated in the wind, spirit fish leapt out of the brook, and a sea serpent made an appearance in the pond. Even Circus Stella fire dancers twirled & whirled & swirled with fire batons, hoops & fireballs wowing the crowd of onlookers. It was a fantastical night followed by an amazing day when I viewed the garden all over again in a brand new light.
A Spectacular Magical Event
Seeing La Grande Grouille world again in the daylight connected experiences & visions from the previous night while it also uncovered new creatures & vignettes that I missed completely. It was a spectacular magical event and you have to see it during the day and night both to get the full effect & total experience.
Creatures of the Night & Day Rise Once a Year
La Grande Grouille is an annual ritual when creatures of the day & night rise during this celebration, on the first weekend in October, to remind us to take good care of the earth. Look, listen & learn on the most magical weekend of the year as New Brunswick Botanical Garden celebrates ‘La Grand Grouille’.
Artist in Residence ~ Guylaine DuFour
Artist in Residence ~ Luc Cyr
Artist in Residence & Café Flora Culinary Artist Chef ~ Paula Lentz
Silent Auction Pumpkin Art ~ created by Paula Lentz
Café Flora is a must stop for lunch anytime you visit the gardens. I love that during La Grande Grouille the restaurant created a fun special menu & seriously decorated for the festivities inside the cafe and outside on the patio as well! The hearty chilli was delicious, hot & spicy and really hit the spot after a cool autumn afternoon exploring the gardens. The atmosphere was really creative, colourful and fun. What a treasure Café Flora is to the NB Botanical Garden.
Best Western Plus
Edmundston’s Best Western Plus was ideal for our overnight stay when taking in La Grande Grouille. The location was convenient to NB Botantical Gardens, and to downtown Edmundston. The suite we enjoyed was comfortable and the complimentary breakfast that comes with your stay here is much appreciated. There is a also a cozy bar on the second level that makes great mojitos!
Lunching at L’écluse on the waterfront in downtown Edmundston is always delightful. The locally-inspired cuisine is flavourful with many homemade dressings & sauces adding to it. Lucie & I enjoyed lunch here once before and this time was no different. The soup & signature salads were very tasty and the lobster roll & chicken club wrap were delish. Don’t miss the exquisite food & beautiful setting this cafe offers.
Wood-fired pizza made just the way you want is the order of the day at Le Patrimoine. Add in good friends and good wine and your evening is made. Service was great here, and the quaint chalet setting was very warm & inviting. I highly recommend the Mediterranean pizza! It was great and I can’t wait to return to try out that outdoor back patio on a warm summer day or evening!
This post was sponsored by Tourism Edmundston-Madawaska; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.